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PunchOut2Go eProcurement Trends: Browsers (Part 2 of 3) Why the usage of old browsers and what does it mean?

In part 2 of Browser eProcurement Trends we explain the usage of tired and old browsers, why they are being used, what eProcurement PunchOut suppliers and providers need to know to better their customers user experience.

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PunchOut2Go eProcurement Trends: Browsers (Part 2 of 3) Why the usage of old browsers and what does it mean?

Nov 23, 2015

Why are supplier's customers in the eProcurement channel using IE7, IE8 and outdated browsers? For most buying entities, their IT department does not let them select the browser of their choice nor do they allow users to update. For Ariba PunchOut Buyers, it’s this line of code within the top Ariba PunchOut catalog iFrame. This line of code tells the users’ Internet Explorer browser window to Emulate IE7. Code like this has been used for a long time to help with browser compatibility. However, this poses a problem in today's space where buyers want that B2C experience in the B2B eProcurement market.

Users are Being Forced to Use IE7

procurement trends and old web browsersWhat’s happening is that even though users are potentially running newer versions of IE, they are being forced into IE7 compatibility within the frame from the procurement system - this is the big “gotcha” for suppliers that have modern eCommerce applications and infrastructure.

On November 10, 2016, we did receive good news through this notice from Ariba: “Event ID: 280602 - Advance Notice: End of Support for Microsoft Internet Explorer Versions 7 and 8” … “Beginning January 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8 (IE7/8).” continuing with “To ensure compatibility, please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, or another supported browser*, no later than February 12, 2016 …” PunchOut2Go’s knowing, as it relates to PunchOut and the iFrame, it won’t matter what browser the user is on, they may be forced into an older browser. We will see if this line of code get’s removed. Fingers crossed for the benefit of usability. Tweet @Ariba, please #RemoveEmulateIE7 @PunchOut2Go

Legacy Applications Require Old Web Browsers

If you are a developer, an eCommerce provider, or someone who gets a good grasp of this, you are scratching your head asking, “Why?”  The answer is quite simple we believe and as mentioned at the beginning of this article, many organizational buying entities (customers) do not have the liberty to utilize the browser of their choice nor do they have the ability to upgrade their browsers as their organization’s IT department doesn’t allow it for various reasons.

One example is the need to maintain connectivity with legacy applications and integrations between applications cause limitations in an organization’s browser selection. But why is Ariba forcing the user into IE7? We honestly don’t have a good answer. Maybe this was a browser compatibility issue that Ariba faced and addressed in their early years that may have been overlooked or maybe it will get removed on January 12. For SAP, This is a different situation, the user agent is a hybrid. It's not just Ariba and SAP. Oracle and many other eProcurement systems place users into an iFrame and that poses some issues with supplier ecommerce sites.

B2C Browser Trends

When looking at B2C browser trends, there is a huge variation from the B2B space. The explanation may seem obvious, but it does prove a valid point that, for most, the B2B eProcurement PunchOut market is simply not quite ready for mobile and tablet devices. However, it won’t be long until PunchOut users will indeed be able to support the technology, modern technology, that is. The technology of tomorrow though is not quite in the playbook we don't think. Sitepoint, a provider of cutting edge content for web professionals — developers, designers, programmers, freelancers, and site owners, published an article in January 2015, “Browser Trends January 2015: IE8 Usage … Triples?!”, and though not exactly related to this article, it provides valuable data from the B2C perspective which far differs from B2B eProcurement:

  • 22.28%    IE (all)
    • 11.31%    IE11
    • 2.23%    IE10
    • 2.89%    IE9
    • 5.85%    IE6/7/8
  • 46.22%    Chrome
  • 16.34%    Firefox
  • 4.24%    Safari
  • 6.05%    iPad Safari
  • 1.38%    Opera
  • 3.49%    Others

There’s a massive difference in usage; 22% for B2C, 80% for B2B (eProcurement). More current data (July 2015) is showing IE usage down to 17% for B2C, B2B (eProcurement) still at 80%.

Catch Up on the Other Procurement Trend Articles

Missed Part 1? Visit, PunchOut2Go eProcurement Trends: Browsers (Part 1 of 3) What suppliers need to know about the B2B PunchOut customers.

In Part 3 of “PunchOut2Go eProcurement Trends: Browsers” we will be diving in deeper to better educate suppliers on what they need to know about their B2B eProcurement PunchOut customers as well feedback from industry partners and experts such as Coupa, CNET/Channel Online and Alpine Consulting. Continue reading > PunchOut2Go eProcurement Trends: Browsers (Part 3 of 3) How suppliers better prepare for their B2B eProcurement customers.

Category: Trends